Medical Tourism Hotspots
You’ve decided that medical travel is the solution you’ve been searching for. The money is in the bank, your passport is current and you’re ready to find out what the world has to offer. Regardless of the type of medical procedure you require – from major surgery to dentistry to eye surgery to cosmetic improvements – there are dozens of medical travel destinations that you might consider.
Medical travel in Southeast Asia is also growing at a rapid rate, particularly in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, for example, is JCI accredited and offers a wide range of medical services, ranging from breast augmentation to hip replacements to hysterectomies. Thailand is especially noted for cosmetic surgeries, including liposuction and tummy tucks.
The Island Hospital in Penang is similarly attractive, with a focus on therapeutic environments for patient recovery. And in Singapore, the Changi General Hospital is a popular medical travel destination for gastrointestinal procedures, such as colonoscopies and biopsies.
Perhaps the most popular medical travel destination, India is home to more than 20 reputable hospitals and clinics, five of which are accredited by JCI. The Krishna Heart and Super Specialty Institute in Ahmedabad, for example, is world renowned for serious heart surgeries, including coronary angioplasty and angiography. You’ll also find that many people enjoy vacationing in India before or after undergoing treatment, and hospitals are frequently willing to help patients with accommodations during their stay.
Cosmetic surgery and physical therapy are the bread and butter of medical travel in South Africa. Surgical Attractions, for example, is a reputable hospital in Johannesburg where patients from all over the world receive inexpensive procedures such as facial implants, dental bridges, tummy tucks and Lasik surgery. Additionally, Cape Fertility Clinic is known for its success in helping couples from abroad conceive.
The majority of medical travel in Hong Kong is conducted at one of its 12 private hospitals, each of which is accredited through the Trent Accreditation Scheme. Hong Kong is generally most attractive to patients in the U.K. who are looking for affordable hospitals where they can have major surgeries performed. The Hong Kong Adventist hospital, in particular, is popular with U.S. medical travel, and is JCI accredited.
You’ll also find that medical travel is taking hold in Beijing as political disputes begin to clear up and commercialization flourishes. Beijing United Family Hospital is known for a cross-cultural staff with a wide range of specialties and education, and is increasingly popular with those who pursue medical travel related to dentistry. It is also JCI accredited.
Other Medical Travel Destinations
There are several other countries throughout the world that offer medical travel options, such as Brazil’s Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital and Costa Rica’s Dentavac Dental Clinic. When searching for the appropriate clinic or hospital, however, make sure that the institution is accredited, and it wouldn’t hurt to gather references.
Choosing a Destination
Now that you know how many options lay before you, choosing a medical travel destination can seem overwhelming. Should you go to India or Brazil? Would you prefer to see China or Thailand? There are several things that you should take into consideration before you make a decision, but ultimately, the choice is entirely yours to make.
Many people choose travel destinations based on their vacation desires. Since you have to pay for the flight anyway, why not take a few weeks of relaxation in a foreign country? Studies show that patients recover much more quickly in an environment they appreciate, and this might give you an opportunity to see amazing places. However, don’t choose a substandard institution just because you’ve never been south of Texas before and Brazil seems like the best place to visit.
You might also want to choose a medical travel destination where friends or family already live. This can cut down on costs significantly since you won’t have to stay in a hotel until you’re ready to fly home, and you might feel more comfortable knowing that people who love you are nearby.
Before you make a decision, you might want to narrow your options down to the top three, then go over all of your research. Look at the costs not only of the medical procedure itself, but also the hospital stay and transportation. It also helps to compare the experience, education and certification of available doctors at a particular facility before you make up your mind.